Opal School closed in 2021. You can continue to access these resources for free at teachingpreschoolpartners.org/resource-library/.

Celebrations: Stone Soup

Celebrations: Stone Soup


The social life of the learning community is
incomplete if it doesn’t include celebration, festivity, and fantasy. All these
are integral parts of the human experience… Whether we celebrate for two
minutes, a day, or a week, we seek to join with others in lifting the spirit
and fellowship of the group.

Ralph Peterson, Life in a Crowded Place 

Last Friday, the Opal School community came together to
make and eat stone soup, following the recipe suggested by the folk tale that
illustrates the nourishing results of cooperation.

Every student contributed to
the soup: some by planting seeds in the school garden last year; others by
harvesting the crops this week; still more by bringing a vegetable or spice
from home; all by cleaning, peeling, chopping and stirring. It was a
celebration by and for all, from the youngest members of the Museum PreSchool
through the grade school students who set up, served, and led songs, to the parents
and grandparents who supported the process and ate with us.


It was a beautiful day, with fragrant smells
filling the halls and steam triggering the smoke detectors. Children scrubbed
stones clean, chopped carrots (and a few fingers), helped each other try out new activities
and flavors, and told stories: Of what cooking looks like in their homes, of
the effect of beets on the body, of meals they’ve shared with friends and


By the time we gathered in the courtyard to eat and sing together,
pride was evident: Pride in cooking, pride in contributing, and pride in how
we’ve spent the first month of our year together.


On October 12, the Museum Center for Learning and Opal School Staff invite interested teachers from near and far for a workshop focused on Establishing Learning Communities. Let's get an early start in the comments section: What does Stone Soup stir for you when you think about developing learning communities at this early point in the school year? What do you cherish and what do you struggle with?